Our second semester of 2016 arrived fast, together with the new Accenture Graduate Programme. As recruiters our work started much earlier than the date we opened the applications (September 1st). Reviewing the last programme, improving the processes, organizing the demand for new graduates and mainly creating new tools to make the application process easier and more assertive are part of what started as soon as we sent the 2015 offers.
It is a lot of work, with more than 10 teams involved from HR to Technology and Analytics. People in Ireland and outside all with one objective: bring the best new talents to our Company. Nothing is better than when we start seeing the applications coming through. The excitement of receiving the completed applications, screening and sending the online assessments is massive. We are always wondering if the candidate will be in the final stages, if we will meet face to face and how we could help to make the application and interviews for Graduate roles a bit smoother.
After a lot of conversations, discussions and a few years of experience we have learnt there is no magic formula to make the Graduate Recruitment a simple and easy process. Technology is improving. However, the number and quality of candidate is improving at the same pace if not faster. The competition is bigger every year between companies and candidates, we unfortunately don’t have roles for everyone. This is the moment when the application process has a crucial role to play. Helping us, recruiters, to find the person who is the best fit for what we can offer. All decisions are made based on what the candidate includes in the application form including the open questions which are read one by one. Nothing is more disappointing for us than seeing a good candidate, with a strong profile and a poor or incomplete application.
Every day I receive tons of questions about how to make the perfect application. Or how do I stand out. Or how can I guarantee I will get to the next round. And my answer is always there is no such thing as perfection, right or wrong or guarantees. My answer is the simple answer that you might have heard numerous times, by just BEING YOURSELF. When it comes to applying for a graduate programme, particularly a programme like Accenture Programme where you have to decide between 3 different areas it is vital to understand that one size does not fit all. We are not all meant to fit one mould, what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and it’s your differences that can tip the scale in your favour.
First things first, start reading about the company and the areas where the roles are available. Consulting is not so rigid about your educational background. However, competences as a team player and client facing are a must. If you are the kind of person who would prefer not to be in the client site representing the company as part of a team consulting may not be the best place for you. Analytics and Technology will require more specific qualifications, perhaps some extracurricular courses in statistics, data analysis, different programming languages or an understanding of software lifecycle implementation.
Once you have decided which Graduate Programme suits your profile better you will be half way there. So if 50% of being successful in your application is about applying to the right Company/Programme studying about the Company competences, areas, case studies are definitely not a waste of time. There is nothing worse in an application than when you ask why the candidate chose to apply to that specific area and it is empty or doesn’t showcase the candidate’s understanding of the area. Copy and paste doesn’t work either. We of course know our website and case studies so just repeating the words you read doesn’t tell us what we want to know: Why should I pass this candidate to the next round?
It is not about YOU vs. THEM. It is about YOU vs. YOU. It is about showcasing your competences so that recruiters reading your application can get a sense of who you are and what you could add to the business. It is important to understand the attributes described in the job description and make sure your CV is highlighting your achievements and skills. Everything counts, a volunteer project, a second language, sports achievements, international experiences, etc.
This post started to give you some insights on what it is that makes a great, long-lasting impression to the Accenture Graduate Programme. Remember there is no right or wrong, no templates. Sending a COMPLETE application with answers with interesting content showing your knowledge of the area you are willing to work in is the most important thing. So find below some links which can help you to prepare yourself before putting your application through the system:
I hope this post has provided you with some insights that you can use while working on your application for our Graduate Programme.
Best of luck!
Graduate Recruitment Lead